Category Archives: #questions

Should we pray for a good parking space?

image from clipart

I read a blog post today by a thespian I have mad respect and love for. His question was “Should we pray for a good parking space?” I’m really hung up on this question. His point was that if we have a close, personal relationship with god, of course we will ask him for things like this because it’s just like we would talk to someone we love sitting in the car with us. So, I get his point. Kinda.

But I’m hung up on the question because I can’t really imagine asking god for a good parking space, even back when asking god for things was something that I did. There have been countless times when Kepler needed me to carry him, and I just did it, without thinking about it. I mean, I recognized when I was walking far, carrying this 54 lb. child, but I would have just never thought of praying and asking god to provide a parking space for me by the door.

First of all, I’m strong. Whenever we go to the doctor, there are often elderly people walking slowly to the door, clearly unwell. I’m cool with parking wherever a space appears and letting the universe sort out everything. By the same token, there are now spots at my pediatrician office that say “Special Needs only.” And I park there without blinking. I don’t know if they mean Down syndrome special needs or not, but it is tremendously helpful to be able to park closer, especially in bad weather.

Secondly, is a parking place close to the door always a good one? There’s something really bugging me about this. Again, I think of the 90yo woman or man, maybe less steady on their feet, maybe with greatly reduced flexibility and stamina. I guess there are people for whom the task of going to the store is really overwhelming, and parking in space 2 is going to make it manageable whereas parking in space 54 will tax their lungs and muscles.

But for able-bodied, relatively healthy people, walk!

I guess maybe I’m missing the point of his article. If I have a cozy relationship with god, I’d want to ask for every little thing, I guess? God, please let there be the pasta I like at the store today? God, can you make the traffic lights green since I am late? God, hey, can you help me find my missing shoe real quick? God, please help me remember the answers to the biology test? Just seems to me like that’s not taking responsibility for myself, and not being willing to adjust to things as they are.

I suppose it just doesn’t really work for me to outsource things like this. And, probably, bottom line, it’s been a long time since I really believed god was that involved in daily life kind of things. I guess, for people who do believe that, getting a parking space, or the last Vera Bradley in that pattern feels like god is paying attention to them. I much prefer taking things as they come, and sussing out the little gems in the gifts that are different than I had imagined.

So is it really a faith issue? A relationship issue? A preference? Maybe all of the above? Maybe I’m just leaning more toward a Buddhist understanding of suffering, that is, being attached to an outcome is what leads to suffering. Please note, I am not talking about people who are in abusive situations, or abject poverty, or dying in a famine. I’m talking about people like me, who are among the wealthiest people in the world, not only in financial terms, but also relational, social, artistic, cultural, geographical, and educational.

No, I don’t think I’ll be asking god to provide a nice parking place for me. If I were going to ask for anything, I think it would be to be aware when one of those 90yo people needs an arm or a hand; to notice the people around me and be willing to connect if the opportunity arises.

AtoZ Blog Challenge: This Week in Review: M, N, O, P, Q, R

I started this week by celebrating passing by the popcorn counter at the movies:

Managing an Appetite with Aplomb

Tuesday, I looked at the word and gesture, Namaste, which I receive as a gift:

N is for Namaste

Although Wednesday’s post was Optimal, the lack of comments mirrored the low energy I had at this point in the week. (I still like the post, though!)

Optimal: The Optimus Prime of Health

Thursday, I was speaking to myself about persevering with a number of things, and the concept resonated with others, especially writers who find it important to persevere with their writing projects.

P is for Perseverance

Friday, I tackled one of my favorite subjects, Questions. I neglected to give credit for that quote — it’s from Rainer Maria Rilke.

Q is for Questions

And, finally, Saturday I addressed the topic of Religion and what’s happening in my life in that area.

R is for Religion

Thanks for joining me for any or all of them and I invite you to check out any you missed. Stay tuned for more AtoZ posts this coming week!


Q is for Questions

When my dad starting affectionately calling me “The County Persecutor” sometime in junior high school, I got the feeling he thought I asked too many questions. Well, what can I say? I had a lot of questions, and I still do. As a matter of fact, I love questions.

The difference from then to now is that I used to be looking for the answer. Now, questions are the catalyst to creative thinking about challenges that are facing me.

Questions that are looking for the answer, and are thus focused on the problem and the past, usually begin with Why, When, Who, and How. (Why did I eat that much at dinner?? Who’s brilliant idea was it to leave this undone?) Questions that are looking for A SOLUTION, and thus are focused on A SOLUTION and THE FUTURE, usually begin with the wonderful word, WHAT. (What do I want? What can I do to make this situation better?)
A little book by John G. Miller, QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, discusses this idea in the context of personal accountability, and suggests Making better choices in the moment by asking better questions. He suggests that each question we ask contain an “I” because asking What can I do is a very different question than Who got us into this mess
What is your attitude toward having unanswered questions in your life? What do you want from your day today? 
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